Sofia Vergara Talks ‘Judging People’ On TV After Years On Modern Family

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Sofia Vergara has already gotten luckier than many actors, after having landed a gig on ABC's long-running hit Modern Family. The family sitcom, which just wrapped its 11 season run, was a critical and audience favorite which turned Vergara into a household name, and the highest paid actress on television for many years. Now, though, she's left her weekly, scripted series behind and has headed to NBC to help judge the frequently heartwarming competition on America's Got Talent. And, she's revealed that the change has been something to get used to.

Sofia Vergara talked to People about her new stint on America's Got Talent, which sees her and former judge Heidi Klum replace last year's new judges Gabrielle Union and Julianne Hough. Vergara was more than willing to admit that, even though she was a watcher of the show, the idea of stepping out of her memorize-lines-hit-your-mark comfort zone was a bit daunting, and said:

They're different worlds, completely different. It's entertaining but it's very different. You're learning lines when you have a TV show. Here, you're judging people. You have an audience, which I didn't have before in Modern Family. It's different, but it's fun.

Oh, Sofia Vergara. Judging America's Got Talent is, indeed, veeeery different from starring on Modern Family. Her main job on the show is to give honest feedback to the competitors, many of whom will be beyond wacky if not simply unprepared or (even) untalented. But, Vergara has to do that while also providing her own form of entertainment for the audience, who will be looking for her to speak her mind in a way they can relate to, and maybe even voice opinions about the acts that they couldn't quite crystallize for themselves. And, of course, it would help if she can do all that while being funny, inspirational or giving hope to the contestants.

Anyone who watched Sofia Vergara on Modern Family knows that she's already really good at being funny with a script, and if you've seen her on a talk show, you know she's also pretty good at being funny while she speaks her mind. But, as Vergara mentioned, she's never had to deal with a live audience as big as the ones you get on America's Got Talent, so that's another huge change to come along with this new job for her.

AGT, of course, had to replace two of its judges after the post-Season 14 exits of Union and Hough, with the former alleging that she experienced some massive behind-the-scenes issues. It was first reported that Sofia Vergara was approached about taking over and filling one of those spots last December, with the news becoming official in late February. It would seem that some of the hesitance on Vergara's part was related to her not being sure if she was even the right fit for such a job, and nervous about the new setting:

I got a little nervous because I thought, 'What am I going to judge? I don't know anything about anything. I mean I'm not an expert on anything. How am I going to do this and be a good judge?' I was thinking of how different it is going to be now. It's new people. 'Am I going to like them? Is it going to be fun?' Then I realized, 'You know what, this show you don't have to be an expert on anything. You just have to say what you think.’

Who can argue with that logic? I mean, how many of us are expert salsa dancers, contortionists, pig wranglers or fire eaters, right? You can keep up with how Sofia Vergara does as a judge on America's Got Talent as the competition continues, Tuesdays on NBC, at 8 p.m. EST. For more on what to watch in the coming weeks, be sure to check out our guide to summer TV!

Adrienne Jones
Senior Content Creator

Yennefer's apprentice, Gilmore Girl; will Vulcan nerve pinch pretty much anyone if prompted with cheese...Yes, even Jamie Fraser.